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Bacardi Turns 150

Bacardi makes plans to celebrate their 150th birthday in 2012 with a year of parties, promotions, retail exclusives and a brand new limited-edition rum.

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Bacardi declared today that 2012 will be its most innovative year since the creation of BACARDI rum in 1862. Throughout the year, Bacardi will host one-of-a-kind birthday parties, launch special promotions featuring 100 years of ground-breaking advertising, introduce a $2,000 limited-edition decanter of rare BACARDI rum, offer travel retail exclusives and commemorative gifts, and much more for consumers to come together and share in the excitement.

“The passion and entrepreneurial spirit shown by my great-great grandfather in Santiago de Cuba a century and a half ago gave birth to exceptional rum that would change the spirits industry forever,” said Facundo L. Bacardi, Bacardi Limited Chairman and fifth-generation Bacardi family member. “These qualities remain key to our phenomenal success and position today as the world’s favorite and most awarded rum brand, with more than 400 awards to date.”

Bacardi was founded in Santiago de Cuba on February 4, 1862, when Don Facundo Bacardi Masso purchased a small distillery. After years of experimenting, Bacardi revolutionized the spirits industry by adding steps never before used in rum-making. He selected high quality blackstrap sugarcane molasses, isolated a special strain of yeast (still used today), filtered, mellowed his rums in American white oak barrels, and then blended them to create the perfect taste.  The smooth, light-bodied spirit he created, as opposed to the harsh “fire water” of the time, was BACARDI – the world’s first premium rum and the first mixable rum – helping usher in a cocktail culture that thrives today. The artful Maestros de Ron (Master Blenders) continue to follow the same exacting standards set forth by Don Facundo.

“For the past 150 years, Bacardi–as a family, Company and brand–has brought people together through legendary parties and great-tasting cocktails. Visit any bar, club or restaurant almost anywhere in the world, and the impact Bacardi has made on the spirits industry is crystal-clear,” said Seamus McBride, Bacardi Limited President and Chief Executive Officer.

Parties, Parties, Parties

BACARDI 150th birthday parties around the world will feature award-winning musical talent, top celebrities and other movers and shakers who, alongside consumers, will wish BACARDI happy birthday. Germany hosts the first BACARDI 150th party on January 28, followed by Canada starting February 1, and the United States, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East starting February 4.  

Guests will celebrate with legendary BACARDI rum cocktails, some created more than 100 years ago, that continue to be among the most popular cocktails in the world – including the Original BACARDI Cuba Libre, the world’s favorite cocktail with more than six million enjoyed every day; the Original BACARDI Daiquiri; the Authentic BACARDI Mojito; and the BACARDI Pina Colada.  Since its creation, BACARDI rum has been enjoyed in more than 365 billion cocktails.  That means every second of every day more than 200 BACARDI cocktails are being served and enjoyed around the world!

Consumer Promotions

By visiting the BACARDI Facebook page, with more than two million fans, consumers of legal drinking age in select markets can vie for BACARDI 150th birthday party tickets and BACARDI party kits filled with all ingredients to host their own unforgettable gathering. In select markets, consumers will also be able to win or purchase commemorative BACARDI glassware, specialty packs and apparel featuring vintage brand advertisements and/or designs by artists of Cuban heritage.

Limited-Edition Product

To honor 150 years of Bacardi rum-making expertise and craftsmanship, eight Maestros de Ron, all Bacardi family members, have combined their extraordinary talents to create a very special, limited-edition BACARDI rum — Ron BACARDI de Maestros de Ron, Vintage, MMXII®. A blend of the finest rums laid to rest in oak barrels over the last 20 years and finished in 60-year old Cognac barrels, the vintage blend is presented in a hand-blown 500ml crystal decanter housed in a leather case and retails for US$2,000. Truly limited, only 400 decanters are available for purchase at select international airports and premium retail establishments around the world.

Additional Bacardi 150th activities include:

  • Airport Displays: At San Juan, Puerto Rico’s Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, a unique display of ten-foot-tall 3-D BACARDI bats will take up residence in February. Puerto Rico is home to the largest BACARDI rum distillery. BACARDI 150th exhibitions will also be featured at Miami International Airport and other select international airports.
  • Birthday Cruise: Celebrity Cruises will mark the occasion with a February 4 party aboard the Celebrity Summit as it departs from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • Global Cocktail Competition: BACARDI will shake things up this year witha special edition of its Legacy Cocktail Competition, drawing mixologists from more than 25 countries to the finals in Puerto Rico on February 20.
  • Corporate Responsibility: In the proud and long-standing Bacardi tradition of giving back, nearly 6,000 employees will engage for an entire month in corporate responsibility and philanthropic activities.  Bacardi also looks to the future with a sustainability initiative that raises the standard for the production and sale of premium spirits.
  • National Geographic Channel’s “Ultimate Factories”: On February 11 at 8pm ET, “Ultimate Factories” will take U.S. viewers to the home of BACARDI rum in Puerto Rico to show how family tradition and technology meet. The program is slated to air internationally in the ”Megafactories” series beginning in March, so be sure to check local television listings for times.


–  Canada – Mar. 17
–  Italy – Mar. 18
–  Australia & New Zealand – Mar. 27
–  UK & Latin America – Mar. 29
–  Southeast Asia – Apr. 5
–  Spain & Portugal – May 28
–  Hungary, Norway, Sweden, Finland & Benelux – May 31
–  Turkey – June 1
–  Russia, Baltics, France, Romania & Greece – June 5
–  Germany – June 21

Visit the special 150th anniversary section at BacardiLimited.com to learn more about Bacardi heritage, including why a bat and signature grace every bottle of BACARDI rum or how Bacardi became Cuba’s first multinational company.